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Trusty happy to be an Airedale 10/20/22

Trusty happy to be an Airedale

By Kevin Taylor 

Alma Schools


Joe Trusty might not have been so sure at first. 


New school, new people in the hallway, new teammates on the football field. 


Twenty-one months later, however, he wouldn’t change a thing. 


The Alma Airedales’ quarterback, who transferred to AHS from Greenwood in February of 2021, had no idea where the move would take him. All he knew was that he wanted to be a quarterback.


“It’s a whole lot different now,” Trusty said. “At first, I didn’t know anyone with the offense; I didn’t know my way around the school. I wasn’t familiar with anything in Alma, either. 


“But I’ve made a lot of friends; they’ve (teammates) welcomed me to their family … this feels like home.”


Trusty and 11 other Alma seniors will run through the inflatable ‘A’ one final time as the team chases one of the four playoff berths in the 5A-West. In their way is Prairie Grove, one of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the league. 


A sturdy thrower and runner, Trusty has eclipsed 3,102 career yards passing and 29 career TD passes in just 17 games. 


None of it could have been possible without a little nudge from the Class of 2022. 


“It was very hard at first, but then the Alma kids did a great job of making him feel included,” Alma offensive coordinator Chris Smith said. “Conner Stacy and a couple of others ... that whole senior class (2022) did a great job with him. He started showing up to volleyball games and to basketball games. I think that really helped.


“He would go over to the track and throw with the track kids, too. Once he did that first spring, I think that helped him get a little closer to the guys.”


Trusty said the first off-season (2021) was the hardest because of all the newness involved; verbiage, coverage — not to mention getting to know the first names of those he was throwing passes, too. 


“The first off-season is when I got to make a lot of new friends,” he said. “This past off-season, I was where I knew I belonged. I was working with the team … it was nothing out of the ordinary.”


A Greenwood native, Trusty moved in with his grandma, Shirley Trusty. Shirley and the late Charles Trusty ran a dairy farm in Paris before relocating to Alma. 


Now, Joe Trusty’s an Airedale. 


“It’s our last time playing on this field, so we’re going to give it everything we have,” Trusty said. 


After throwing for 2,192 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior, the expectations for an even bigger senior year began to get Trusty noticed by a few college coaches. 


This season, despite throwing for 910 yards and 10, the 6-foot-3 Trusty has also rushed for 354 yards and six touchdowns while integrating young receivers like Drake Stogsdill into the flow of the game. The team also won five games for the first time since 2019. 


“He’s been more than patient,” Stogsdill said. “He’s tried teaching us what he got taught by the other receivers last year — trying to find ways to get open. He’s got that leader mentality; that’s just his personality.”


“He had pretty good numbers last year, but he was still learning,” Smith said. “This year, he hasn’t had the numbers throwing, but we did lose some big receivers (Conner Stacy and BriLee White) last year, too. We have some new receivers this year, and he’s still putting up great numbers — we’ve been putting up a lot of points. He’s just a gamer; his in-game adjustments are really, really good.


“I would say he’s one of the best I’ve ever been around as far as making in-game adjustments.”


Trusty’s ultimate compliment comes from Smith, the team’s veteran play-caller. 


“I’ve been around a couple of good ones in high school, and Joe’s right up there,” Smith said. “Obviously, having a relationship with Ty Storey, they are very similar. Joe ranks up there with some of the best I’ve been around.”


Trusty’s in-game decisions have also been clutch, Smith said. 


“He understands the game,” he said. “At the high school level, for kids to understand coverage, a lot of it has to do with the system they came from. His knowledge of knowing where to go with the ball on blitzes is really, really good.”